Thursday, 22 September 2011

The tools of war

Well, before talking about anything else to do with modeling and crafting I guess we should examine the tools of the trade. Like many serial killers the avid modeler has a strange collection of sharp implements and cutting tools at their disposal (along with brushes and glues and such).
So what ill do is take you through my toolbox and show you the vast pile of random crap i’ve accumulated over the years with my modeling hobby.

Brushes – Pretty dam useful actually

Right, if your going to paint anything you will most likely need a brush (Finger painted Warhammer models don’t turn out to well). But what kind of brushes to get i hear you say. Well, this is an area where Games Workshop do exceedingly well. They have a good range of brushes designed for pretty much every task, with model painting involved. I tend to use only 4 of the brushes in my collection for 99% of the painting (I also never throw out a brush unless its completely munted, so many of these are old and worn out)

Citadel Large Brush for most painting, a Citadel detail brush for detail, A citadel fine detail brush for…… you get the point. The range is pretty self descriptive. Oh, I also use an old munted Citadel large brush for applying heavy amounts of paint or dry brushing (more on that in a later post)

Paints – because coating models with your own blood is stupid


I said Behold!

Are you beholden yet?

Anyways, behold my collection of paints cunningly sorted into two distinct piles. On the top is the citadel range, very good paints and they come in a wide variety of colours. The foundation and ink ranges are especially good. On the bottom is my historic (WWII) set from the Vallejo model colour range. These two sets of paints have little in common and serve different needs.

For painting bright and exotic things, go citadel. If you want the exact shade of gray worn by German infantry in the summer of 1940, go for the Vallejo range.

And if you get the citadel ones, paint the lids.  Otherwise you will spend hours searching for the dam paint you need. If you get the Vallejo range realise that one brown looks a lot like another brown when your not paying attention.

Modeling tools – Not for serial murder

  • File – for trimming off flash on models (the flaky bits on the edges)
  • Drill bit – For pinning arms and legs on
  • Scalpel – For removal of organs….. I mean for cutting things….. like plasticard
  • Tweezers – For handling transfers
  • Pliers – Honestly, i cant remember the last time i used those? (I sometimes use them to hold fiddly things while painting them)
  • Cutter – For snipping models of plastic sprues and heavy duty cutting (Have used on metal models)
All of these can be got from a local models/crafts/games store or games workshop. Although, one thing to note is the privateer press drills come with a stock of the correct sized wire.

  • Plastic glue – Use the tamiya one as it has a brush
  • PVA – For doing bases with
  • Superglue – I use the citadel one as it doesn’t dry out quickly in the pot. Use a toothpick or similar to apply.
  • Plastic card – Comes in different thicknesses and can be used for everything from scrolls to armour plating for tanks.
  • Toothbrush – For oral hygiene and for paint stripping (more on that later)
  • Ignore the little black lidded thing, ill cover that under airbrushing
  • Microsol – Awesome little product that helps dissolve transfers making them look better.
  • Cotton buds – for soaking up moisture when needed

What the flock? – Stuff for basing models

Many models have bases that you can decorate. I really want to improve on my bases in the near future so i imagine this stock will grow. Galeforce Nine have a very good and very cheap range of basing materials. GWs are more expensive and you get less but they are slightly better quality.

Ok, so this actually looks like a torture kit

This is my sculpting gear, and in all honesty I am only just getting to grips with the basics in this are.
Galeforce nine sells this apron with 12 double headed sculpting tools for not a lot at all. If i ever figure out what to do with them all, ill be sure to post about it.

Sitting on the apron are three clay shapers. These have been very useful with my basic attempts at sculpting by allowing me to manipulate the green stuff without using leaving grubby finger prints on the model.

(See big tubes of green stuff above from GF9 about 1/3rd of the price of GW green stuff)

I use green stuff and the sculpting kit to make custom parts on models or the help with conversions (Such as attaching a rocket launcher to someones head)

My broken shoe box – I need Better storage

I try and keep most of the gear in one place so that it doesn’t migrate to random parts of the house and i don’t step on any scalpels (Or that should read, I don’t step on any more scapels).

Whatever you end up getting I recommend having a good storage tray or two. Some days you’ll need to tidy up quickly for when the “insert people who you feel the need to be tidy around” come to visit. Also, if you have kids its good to keep this stuff in a locked box on a high shelf. Kids may find solvents and blades fun, but they should really buy their own to play with.

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